We compared breeding activity of Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) and Rana sylvatica (Wood Frog) in artificial impoundments to patterns in natural wetlands over a three-year period in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Rana sylvatica were 5.6 times more likely to use natural bodies of water for breeding than artificial impoundments, while A. maculatum were 2.7 times more likely to use natural bodies of water. Both species were approximately 9 times more likely to breed in fishless bodies of water than in waters with predatory fish. Ambystoma maculatum were 6 times more likely to breed in wetlands with more stable seasonal hydroperiods, while R. sylvatica were only 2 times more likely to do so. We conclude that the high likelihood of fish presence in impoundments was the primary explanation for why both species were less likely to use impoundments than natural wetlands, while the tendency of A. maculatum to avoid natural wetlands with shorter hydroperiods explained why differences in use between pond types was more pronounced for R. sylvatica.
Additional publication details
The use of artificial impoundments by two amphibian species in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area